The government of Armenia and Artsakh will grant national hero titles to four individuals, selected for their military, professional and political accomplishments.
In the Republic of Armenia, medical doctor Hagop (Hrayr) Hovaguimian and army officer Ruben Sanamyan will become the 18th and 19th persons to receive the “national hero” since the award was introduced in 1994.
Nagorno Karabakh’s first political leader Artur Mkrtchyan and army officer Armenak Urfanyan will become 28th and 29th persons to become Heroes of Artsakh, both posthumously, since that award was introduced in 1997.
Dr. Hovaguimian is recognized for his dedication to the development of healthcare in Armenia, where in 1994 the Portland, Oregon-based practitioner established the Nork Marash Medical Center in Yerevan that focused on heart surgeries.
Capt. Sanamyan is awarded for the key role he played in the July fighting on the Tavush border and is the first living serviceman to receive the award; in 2012 he was awarded with the Military Cross medal, 2nd degree for his valor.
Capt. Urfanyan led the defense of the post no. 116 near Seysulan in Artsakh’s Mardakert district in April 2016; Jr. Sgt. Robert Abajyan, also killed in the post’s defense, was given the Hero of Artsakh award in May 2016.
Mkrtchyan was elected the first NKR leader in January 1992 and died in a firearms accident three months later. His successors as NKR leaders, Robert Kocharyan and Arkady Ghoukasyan received Hero of Artsakh titles in 1999 and 2009, respectively.